How to choose the perfect Family Camper

How to choose the perfect Family Camper. 10 Major Questions to ask yourself (and a whole lot of other questions to think about)
So, its time to hit the road and enjoy some hard-earned time off. You deserve it, your family deserves it, your dog deserves it. Let us dive into 10 questions that will narrow your search and help make your camper shopping an enjoyable and exciting experience!

   1.   How many people will be camping with you? How much stuff will you bring?
Are you a couple with an only child who likes to camp to get away from people? Or do you have 4 kids, and they bring their friends, dogs, bikes, skateboards, and ATV? There are options for all shapes and sizes from teeny tiny Tent Trailers to 5th Wheel Toy Hauler Behemoths with Lofted Bunk Houses. So be honest with yourself on this one, what fits your lifestyle? Most importantly, how many beds do you need, and how much Cargo space is needed for what you plan to bring.

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     2.   Will you be travelling around? Or camping on a seasonal site/vacation property?
Simple… Do you need to be able to tow your camper to the mountains? The desert? How about Just a few short trips here and there? Or can you just pay to get it towed once. And be done with it? All very important things that will determine the size and weight of the camper you can choose. Typically those who chose to leave their camper on a seasonal site will spend a bit more time exploring the inside of their camper than the new places and sites they visit.

    3.   How much can your car/truck/SUV tow comfortably?
“We have a van, but need to sleep 8” Well, how much can your van tow? 3,500 LBS? Now we have a baseline for the size and style of camper you can get into. “We are a small family, and we have a diesel ¾ ton, but we have a Side by Side to bring with us.” Looking like a toy hauler! 5th wheel or bumper pull? Do you need/want to use the bed of your truck for supplies, or are you ok with the hitch occupying your box? You can give us a call if you need help figuring out your vehicles towing capacity, make sure you have the VIN number handy!

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   4.   How much time will you spend inside? What will you do?
Are you a camper who uses their camper solely to sleep, and spend most of your time outside with the bugs? Or do you like to listen to the sound of the waves of the ocean from the safety of your reclining loungers with the heat cranked. Where will the TV be? Will there be enough seats to have a movie night? If I am cooking, will I have enough counter space to leave the coffee maker out all day? My husband is 6 foot 7, will he be able to turn around in the shower? Do Susie, Sally and Jim need their own room, or will they be ok with an open bunk? Are we ok turning the dinette into a bed every night? How about Card games? A Fireplace? Family dinners in the rain? Do we need slides for extra living space for Yoga or an office? Keep em’ coming.

   5.   What do you plan to do outside of your camper at your site?
Some campers prefer to do all their cooking outside under the awning, but do you want to use an onboard Outdoor Kitchen with a fridge and sink? Or set up your Coleman stove on the picnic table? Maybe you have a seasonal site with a deck in mind. Will you have enough room if your slides are on the deck side? Did you bring kayaks and want to be able to store them in a locking storage bin? What about the kiddie pool? Lots to consider but were getting somewhere now!

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   6.   How hot/cold will the weather be where you plan to camp?
If you plan to camp later into the season, even into the time where the snow begins to fall, or if you head south in the summer and need to beat the heat it might be good to spring for a camper equipped with an “Extreme Weather Package.” These campers often come with upgraded insulation packages, heated tanks, higher BTU furnaces and Air conditioners to keep up with the elements and keep you cozy or cool. The construction type of your camper is a very important factor to research as well, but that’s a topic for another post. On we go!

   7.   What floorplans just “feel right” for you and your family?
Now that you have a good idea of how big your camper can be for the sanity of your family or relationship, how much time you will be spending inside your camper and what types of activities are important to you. Its time to visualize. Have a family meeting and draw out your dream floorplan. Go!

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   8.   What is your budget?

Very important. Do you have Airstream taste with a Tent trailer budget? Not a problem. There are viable options for all budgets and tastes. But it is important to know exactly what you can and cannot afford before you start booking viewings to best maximize your time. Did you know that it is possible to finance a new camper for up to 20 years?! This is something to consider, as monthly payments can get very low with a term of that length. There are many resources if you do plan to finance. Feel free to call or email one of our exerts here : if you need a little advice.

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   9.   Used or new?
Budget can be a determining factor with answering this question. Time is also a major factor. Do you need your new camper like, yesterday? Or are you willing to wait for a brand spanking new Pre-Order? The beauty of a used camper is that it can save you quite a bit of money off the top, and typically they are available to purchase today. Maybe you really can get that big 5th wheel with the bunkhouse and the Island kitchen after all, if you go with a lightly used unit. Or maybe you need the space for a whole family on a tight budget, how about a used fixer upper and some elbow grease? Don’t forget to check out our upcoming article on “What to look for when purchasing a used camper” if you do choose to go used. Check out our full inventory of New and Used RV’s here:

   10.   Does my camper come with a Warranty?
Be sure to educate yourself on what sort of warranty will come with your new camper purchase, each manufacturer is slightly different in scope and length of coverage. Is it possible to extend your warranty if you’ll be owning the trailer for a while, or if the manufacturer warranty has already expired? What about roadside assistance? On-site service? At the end of the day, don’t forget you are basically rolling a house down the highway, things can and likely will go wrong – it’s more a question of when than if. More importantly, does the manufacturer and/or retailer of your trailer have the willingness to assist when you need it? Some brands have a very well-developed network of parts and service centers spanning the entire continent, while others may have a more difficult time helping when you get too far from home.

There are obviously many points to consider in choosing the best new or used camper trailer for your individual circumstance. Is your vision starting to come in to focus yet…? Now have some fun and start shopping, you got this!


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